Major pharmaceutical companies continually research and develop new medications and treatments, which must be shown to be safe and effective before doctors can prescribe them to patients. Through colorectal cancer clinical trials, researchers test the effects of new medications on a group of volunteers with colorectal cancer. Following a strict protocol and using carefully controlled conditions, researchers evaluate the investigational drugs under development by measuring the ability of the new drug to treat colorectal cancer, its safety, and any possible side effects.
Some patients with colorectal cancer are reluctant to take part in clinical trials for fear of getting no treatment at all for their colorectal cancer. This is simply not true. Patients with colorectal cancer who participate in colorectal cancer clinical trials receive the most effective therapy currently available for the colorectal cancer -- or they may receive colorectal cancer treatments that are being evaluated for future use. These colorectal cancer drugs may be even more effective than the current colorectal cancer treatment. The only way to determine if a newer therapy is better than a currently available therapy is by clinical trial participation.
Note: Some citations in the text of this section are followed by a level of evidence. The PDQ editorial boards use a formal ranking system to help the reader judge the strength of evidence linked to the reported results of a therapeutic strategy. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Levels of Evidence for more information.)
Note: Other PDQ summaries containing information related to rectal cancer include the following:
Unusual Cancers of Childhood Treatment (colorectal cancer...
This web site, developed by the nonprofit Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups, is an unbiased cancer clinical trial matching and navigation service enabling patients to search for cancer trials based on disease and location.